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County environmental health – proper refrigeration is key to avoiding the “temperature danger zone”
August 23, 2017
SOLANO COUNTY – September is National Food Safety Education month, and to celebrate, the Solano County Department of Resource Management, Environmental Health Division will visit and inspect more than 400 restaurants throughout the County, educating employees on the importance of proper refrigeration, the safe handling of food, and how to avoid the "temperature danger zone."
The “temperature danger zone” is when foods are improperly stored at a temperature between 42 and 132 degrees Fahrenheit. When foods are stored within this zone, it increases the chances of someone getting a foodborne illness. Every year in the United States, more than 500,000 people contract a foodborne illness, whereas 128,000 of them will need to be hospitalized and approximately 3,000 will die.
County Environmental Health employees will conduct health and safety inspections at food facilities across the County to assess their compliance with food safety requirements related to temperatures. Businesses that demonstrate safe cooling and food handling practices will receive certificates of recognition for avoiding the mismanagement of potentially hazardous foods.
“We take pride in providing a service that helps keep our community safe,” says Joyce Benefield, Solano County Senior Environmental Health Specialist. “Our goal is to help make sure that restaurants have the proper tools to prepare, cool and store food properly – greatly reducing the chances of someone getting a foodborne illness – which is the primary focus of our campaign.”
In addition to maintaining proper refrigeration levels of 41 degrees Fahrenheit or less at all times, County Environmental Health also encourages families to use a thermometer when cooking food, to wash hands before and after handling food, and to never prepare and / or cross-contaminate foods with other food products that may contain potentially harmful bacterial.
For more tips and information, including the results of the food facility inspections, call the Department of Resource Management, Environmental Health Division's Consumer Protection line at (707) 784-6765 or visit www.SolanoCounty.com/Depts/RM/Food_Facility.